Once, there was a wolf that lived in a cave near a sheep ranch. The ranch was well-protected by armed farmers and sheep-dogs specifically trained to fight and kill wolves. In the early days, it was nearly impossible for the wolf to get a sheep when he was hungry, but eventually he learned how to hide among them, picking them off at his leisure.

The sheep eventually grew wise to the wolf’s tactics, and took some measures to protect themselves: staying in more tightly-packed groups, being sure to bleat out an alarm whenever they suspected foul play, and staying nearer to the farmers and sheep-dogs.
Of course, the escalation of war and survival never ends, and so the wolf had to become even stealthier, even more subtle in his approach. This required that he spend a lot of time amongst the sheep, behaving as they did, bleating as they did, even pretending to eat the grass as they did. He spent so much time acting as a sheep, that he even genuinely befriended some of them, and found that he cared about them and their lives—yet, the fact remained, he was still a hungry wolf.

One day, while disguised as a sheep, he got into a heated conversation with some sheep—ironically, he was trying to teach them about the dangers of wolves, and the smartest ways to safeguard themselves against them. The sheep could not accept his advice.  They called him paranoid, a fear-monger, a sensationalist, a radical—all this while the wolf was trying to help them, in defiance of his own best interests! This infuriated him, and made him realize: all this time he’s spent trying to blend in to be like them, he’d forgotten his true purpose.  He had allowed himself to get distracted, muddled in the sheep’s affairs, and allowed his heart to soften to the point that even he momentarily forgot that he was a wolf! So while the ignorant sheep raved on about how the wolf problem was the best it had been in years, and how it seemed only the weakest and sickest among the sheep were being picked off these days, the wolf made one last attempt to warn them to take care.

For his efforts, he was ridiculed, and his fury became wrath as he tore into one sheep after another, shredding them apart not for sustenance—but out of sheer violent rage. Naturally, this drew the attention of the sheep-dogs and farmers, who in turn promptly killed the wolf. Unbeknownst to everyone else, this one semi-friendly wolf had kept all others at bay by marking his territory—his missing presence created a vacuum which the other wolves were happy to compete to fill.  This resulted in the deaths of far more sheep, far more wolves, and even the occasional sheep-dog and farmer.

May we never forget that the sheep are never safe, for wolves walk among them.


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